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School Board drafts new core values, vision and mission to guide District into the future

Over the past year, the Mercer Island School Board has been revisiting Board Policy 2020, the District’s “why,” the core values, vision and mission that are the underpinnings of the education provided to the Island’s 4,450 students.

The District’s current “Vision 2020” was originally adopted into Board policy 10 years ago and needs updating to better reflect the District’s goals and aspirations today, said Board President Brian Giannini Upton.

“This process has been valuable for the entire Board as we looked at where we are currently as a high-performing district with tremendous support from our Island community and wanting our core values, vision and mission to best reflect our goals,” Giannini Upton said.

After a series of study sessions, the Board has drafted revised core values, vision and mission statements for the District. Superintendent Donna Colosky presented them to a series of focus group meetings throughout the district, including to families, staff, students and community members.

At these focus group meetings, Colosky used a digital tool called ThoughtExchange to receive instant feedback. Participants are asked to share what resonates the most and what they feel is missing from the revised core values, vision and mission statements. In the next step, they “star” others’ thoughts, giving them a rating of one (strongly disagree) to five (strongly agree).

“ThoughtExchange is widely used among school districts for just this kind of visioning process,” Colosky said. “Once we complete the focus group meetings, we will share with the School Board all the thoughts and reactions to them, giving us a deeper dive into the data above and beyond a typical survey.”

The School Board reviewed the focus group results at its mid-year study session in June, and will consider adopting the new core values, vision and mission for the 2019-2020 school year.